Latest iTunes version boasts movie downloads

Courtesy of Apple Computer, Inc.

Courtesy of Apple Computer, Inc.

By Emily Sokolik

Back in the Stone Age, Apple enthusiasts used their iPods exclusively for music.

However, just last week, Apple unleashed its latest innovation – iTunes 7, the newest version of the popular digital media player. With this new version, feature length films can now be purchased through the iTunes store and downloaded onto an iPod or computer for unlimited viewing.

“I think college students will be downloading (iTunes 7) in droves,” said Timothy Braun, assistant manager at the Illini Apple Center, located at 512 E. Green St., in the same building as The Daily Illini.

Since its creation in 2001, iTunes has expanded its offerings to include downloadable TV shows. Now, the iTunes store is offering over 75 movies from Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar, Touchstone Pictures and Miramax Films. Movie titles include “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “The Incredibles” and “Under the Tuscan Sun.” New releases are $12.99 when pre-ordered and during their first week of availability, and $14.99 afterward. Regular movies are available for $9.99.

Steve Jobs, Apple CEO, said in a press release last week, “Here we go again! First music, then TV shows, and now movies.

“In less than one year we’ve grown from offering just five TV shows to offering over 220 TV shows, and we hope to do the same with movies. iTunes is selling over one million videos a week, and we hope to match this with movies in less than one year.”

iTunes 7 is quickly becoming popular with University students, Braun said.

“I just upgraded,” said Allison Aigner, junior in LAS. “I really like the new layout, the new setup. I like how sleek it looks, very classy.”

Illini Apple Center manager, Michelle Gabris, said iTunes 7 is offering more than just movies and predicts the downloadable games to be especially popular with college students. iTunes users can download a broad selection of games, everything from Tetris to Texas Hold’Em.

“Apple is always trying to innovate and be cutting-edge,” Gabris said. “I’m really excited about the organizational changes that are being made. Even with my nano, it can be hard to find things sometimes.”

While many are embracing the new iTunes, Facebook groups are already forming to express negativity about the software. One group named “I dislike iTunes 7,” created by a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania, includes a posting that reads, “How annoying is this new iTunes? It froze my computer twice and made all my podcasts go away. And, it looks silly.”

Not everyone is enthusiastic about iTunes 7, but Gabris said she is excited for the ease of use that the new software brings. Changes like seamless playback and a cover art browser will make downloading easier, she said.